From new I found the front forks of my 2016 Strom to be overly damped. As a result I ended up riding it with both the compression and rebound damping turned back to the minimum. That didn't completely sort the issue, but I lived with it. However of late the front end has become stiffer with some evidence of fork stiction. Time to change the oil and this time I will go to a Motul 2.5 weight. Anyone else have this experience with this model ?
I found that exact thing with my 2018 XT1000. The more I tried to adjust the clickers, the more I realized the fork has some issues. One thing to know, is that the stock clickers are only effective for about a turn from fully closed. Turning the clickers further out, is pretty much the same as fully open.
The stiction issue can be solved with SKF fork seals and wipers. Yes, they cost more than the OEM parts, but the SKF seals will slide much easier. The stock seals grip the fork tubes too tightly.
IMO, the internal parts are a simply a poor performing set of components. I have a bit of experience with dirt bikes, specifically the Kayaba older open bath and the current KYB SSS forks, and can usually find success. However, on my '18 DL1000 XT, I struck out with my numerous revalving attempts. I improved it some, but I didn't achieve my goals to solve the problems of too stiff dampening and too quick rebound. It almost points to a cavitation problem? I had not tried the SKF seals with the stock components.
My solution has been the installation of an Andreani damper kit. I bought my kit on Ebay from an Italian seller for about $550. But... I ran into a small problem and the Ebay seller would not respond. That said, I'd suggest to instead, buy it from the US reseller Fast Bike Industries. The store owner is a knowledgeable guy who can install it for you, and will help you with any problems.
One year after install, I'm pretty happy with the kit. Nothing is ever perfect, but it's pretty good.
Ok. Many thanks for the responses. Also I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one to find this issue. I had a similar issue with my former Triumph 1200 Explorer and that was rectified very well with a Wilbers kit fitted by a local Suspension specialist here in Ireland. The fork clean out and refreshment of oil plus the lighter weight might help some, but if it doesn't then I will probably go the Wilbers route given it worked so well on the Triumph. I will probably also get a set of SKF seals. Thanks again.
Glad to share my experiences. I overlooked that you are in Ireland, oops. If you have a local suspension guy, I'd go with him.
As to the lighter weight fork fluid, I'm not sure. Half of the V-Strom fork issues are from rebound which is too fast. The lighter fluid will make this worse. Keep in mind that thicker fluid will have greater change with temperature changes.
I suppose my fork setup would lean more towards offroad settings because as I mentioned previously I tend to live on the rougher roads. As such I need reasonable compliance and low rebound damping settings to allow the fork recover quickly before the next bump.
I tried the bike out today after the refresh and Motul 2.5 w oil. I picked out the roughest roads with lots of dips and humps and plenty of washboard surfaces. All settings remained as before i.e. Both dampings at minimum and spring preload also as before more or less in mid position, so a comparison was easy and thankfully some improvement was noticeable. My Mechanic also slid out the fork inners and cleaned up the seals adding some WP grease to them, which is also used to good affect on WP fork rebuilds. The stiction I was experiencing was gone and the fork action was considerably smoother. However I noticed that the forks were functioning at their best with an almost empty tank. This prompts me to add some spring preload which I will probably do next time I ride it. I will run with this setup for a while.
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